The Garden Poetry Party (Launch)

The Garden Poetry Party was our launch event, held at Eastgate House Gardens on 22nd July, 2012.

We were thrilled with the response, as hundreds of people passed through the gates to enjoy a beautiful sunny Sunday of music and poetry, with the feedback we received overwhelmingly positive: Just a few things to amend for next time – closer toilets, more seats, some shade and breaks between acts!

Our compares were the incomparable CO Jones and Mat Wills, who kept all our performers in check admirably well and oversaw two high quality Open Mic sessions. We’d like to congratulate and thank all of those who took part: Barry Fentiman; Maureen Norris; Maria McCarthy; Sarah Jenkin; Amy Leverson; Dave Potten; Janine Grey; Jay Rheingeld; Peter Carter; Thomas Kelly; Comedian Kev Smith; Nigel Adams; Barry Kearns; Rob Carling.

“Thank you for making Medway a better place!”

Our headline performers were their usual awesome selves and we look forward to working with each of them again in the future. A massive thanks to Bill Lewis,  The James Worse Public Address Method (video link!), Abigail Zeiring-Delmado and Didi Bergman. Oh, and some bloke called Philip Kane 🙂

“Very enjoyable day, a great platform for local artists”

It was wonderful to welcome the lovely Sioux Peto and her Litter Angels to the garden too  – I spied many a wood wand wending their way through the audience – another massive thank you due there, for staging our children’s creative corner.

“Should have more events like this”

More thank yous: To our stallholders who all donated to our fund – Sam Hall & Victoria Wainwright; Ben CameronNatasha SteerTukru; Maria McCarthySarah Clarke and David & Baljinder Bahia, to whom we cannot thank enough for their generosity in donating half the proceeds from their stall.

“Wonderful day, done with a lot of heart, well done xx”

And to our refreshments stallholders: Helen at The Cocktail Club for her jolly marvellous concoctions; Sandy of Dot Cafe for the much needed supply of hot and cold drinks and Sonya of Sonya’s Cupcakes for the much needed supply of cupcakes! Thank you x

“Setting and music, poetry in the sun, excellent”

For Eastgate House itself, a big thank you to Tracey Stringfellow who facilitated our garden takeover and a specially big THANK YOU to caretaker Paul – without whom the day simply wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did – nothing was too much trouble and everything we needed was freely given with a smile and words of encouragement and advice.

“Brilliant, had an amazing time!”

Last two individual thank yous go to the heroic Roy Smith and the lovely Sam Froudist – my saviours at the gate!

“Great idea for a Sunday afternoon – more like this please!”

And finally, to everyone who came along and made the day such a brilliant success for us: Thank You!

If you have any feedback you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment below. Links to photos and videos on the day would also be welcome, please do send them to us via email: rochesterlitfest@gmail.com A gallery of images can be found on the RLF Event page.

Nikki Price Photography took a beautiful series of photos on the day, which you can view here. Thanks Nikki!

Medway film students, Mdhamiri Nkemi and Sophie Lasson, working on behalf of coFWD, the Rochester coworking space, filmed a wonderful short video for us which you view below. Massive thanks to them for their professionalism, time and patience – the whole coFWD film can be viewed here, to give you an flavour of the creative stuff going on in Medway at the moment, and of coFWD itself. Check out Sophie and Mdhamiri’s Cinovice project too.

Rochester Literature Festival from Mdhamiri á Nkemi on Vimeo.

What else our visitors said:

“Nice mix of music and poetry, maybe a longer event could have mini plays as well?”

 “Thank you for an awesome day!”

“Lots of fun; good people :)”

“Great idea, keep it up  – look forward to more!”

“An excellent idea; good mix of people.”

“Nice to see the gardens used; enjoyable event, thanks.”

“Fantastic, great location”

“Wonderful day, wonderful people.”

“Fantastic, lovely atmosphere, wonderful people and great organising.”

“Excellent party in a great location; liked the combo of poetry, comedy and music.”

“Good range of local artisans.”

“Genuinely lovely atmosphere. Well run, a credit to the local community.”

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